Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Unschooling?! ~ Grace for Overwhelmed Homeschooling Mothers


When I first started homeschooling, I read dozens of books on curriculums and teaching styles. I couldn't get enough of them! The main ones that excited my home education appetite was the unit study style of teaching along with the Charlotte Mason ideas. In the end, both were incorporated to create our eclectic style of home education. Surprisingly, it was the book on "un-schooling" that impacted me most. Though my task oriented character wasn't complimentary to this concept, I gleaned much from the book though I never "purposely" apply its concepts. For what it did do, was relieve my anxiety during those "life gets crazy" days!

Note: If you are unfamiliar with un-schooling, it is basically a child led education (you can read more about it here and keep in mind it is different to each parent). I will be sharing my version of un-schooling. 


Oftentimes, there are days (and sometimes weeks and even months!) throughout the year that emergencies come up, sicknesses occur, your extended family needs you, you are in the middle of a move, you have 50 bushels of apples to preserve, your husband needs your help in the family business, friends and family need assistance and the list goes on... and the list goes on!

What is a homeschooling mother to do?


Should she fret and give up her goals of home education every time life throws a curve ball? Should she be overwhelmed and burdened when she can't keep up with her homeschooling schedule? Should she just throw in the towel?

No, what was once important is still important. The reasons you decided to home educate are still valid. We just need to change our thinking during those times. This is where your "un-schooling" insurance comes in!


“An alarming number of parents appear to have little confidence in their ability to "teach" their children. We should help parents understand the overriding importance of incidental teaching in the context of warm, consistent companionship. Such caring is usually the greatest teaching, especially if caring means sharing in the activites of the home.”
~ Raymond S. Moore, School Can Wait

You can have peace of mind that your child is still being educated on those days, it is just a different type of learning, a practical learning experience or even a creative one! Here are some examples of how this could go via my version of un-schooling:


When those buckets of produce are staring at you to preserve, and you need to enlist those extra helping hands, you can consider that whole day "home economics" in your homeschooling schedule.


If you are needed to care for a family member during an illness, have your children help! They are learning valuable biblical lessons of carrying each others burdens. The children can assist you in making meals, serving beverages, singing songs to the patient, reading to the patient and offering up prayers. If you have older children, have them research the illness you are dealing with so they can offer suggestions, menus and ideas to make the patient more comfortable. You have potentially done home economics, Bible (character building) and science (health) that day.


“Education is not confined to books, and the finest characters often graduate from no college, but make experience their master, and life their book. [Some care] only for the mental culture, and [are] in danger of over-studying, under the delusion . . . that learning must be had at all costs, forgetting that health and real wisdom are better.”
~ Louisa May Alcott, Jo's Boys


If your husband decides to take you all to the lake for the week, do not fret! You can call that time a "family field trip". Some other areas of study would be "science" since the waters are full of marine life and critters. Taking little opportunities along the way to share and observe can transform many an outing into a nature study. If your children spend the week swimming their hearts out, you could include "physical education" in your daily homeschool log.


When I needed to start packing for a major cross-country move (and had to sell off 1/3 of our household goods), I had a stack of audio books that were listened to while my laundry was being folded, cheese for dinner was being shredded and produce was cut into salads, etc (anything that helped me to pack and sell so that life could continue was done while listening to audio books). If the book was Heidi, I would consider it "geography" and "language arts" for the day. I would give oral assignments such as, "please bring the globe and locate Switzerland and Germany for me" or any cities mentioned in the book (geography). I would implement narration by asking what each chapter was about as we listened (language arts). Our Around the World Cookbook was brought out and meals were prepared for me based on the country we were focusing on (home economics). On the weekends, we would watch movies located in Switzerland or based on the books we read. It was a busy time but school was being done the best way we could!


If your child is sick in bed, they could still have perfect attendance. If you are allowing them the privilege of watching something of worth for either historical, science or character building content, you can call that day spent learning in bed "history" or "science" in your homeschooling schedule. I think you get the point.


Obviously, older students can still do the basics (reading, writing, arithmetic) if your curriculum and schedule allows and they could also help the younger ones when they are finished to do theirs. I also purchase special independent workbooks for times such as these. Our favorites are the Queen Homeschool curriculums (think Charlotte Mason style workbooks!). When life gets crazy, I pull them out.

Discovering Nature and Science Series

"Written directly to the child, our courses need no teacher's manual, and allow both parent and child to develop interests outside of school time, as well as having the time to pursue them."


I have also noticed that once "school" is over for the day, what continues to happen in our home is still education! I see encyclopedias opened (to Rococo Art on one occasion!?), I see a birdwatching notebook being created, animal husbandry books being read and applied in the back yard, meals being made, desserts being baked, little frocks being sewn for little ones, embroidering, painting, drawing, writing of novels, crafting, reading, reading and more reading!

Note: I hate to be the bearer of bad news (or upset anyone) but I must speak plainly. If you keep a no TV schedule these activities shared above will take place. Leaving your child in front of the television all day long is not educational even if the programs are all educational. Although an occasional movie has its place, it is certainly not a replacement for reading, exploring, creativity, playtime and other childhood activities that encourage learning and development. Yes, it may be "the" answer for a few days but please don't make it a habit.


The most important lesson (for mother and children) to learn while homeschooling is that life isn't perfect and smooth! Our children need to understand that we need to roll with the punches. Plans change, things come up and learning how to modify our schedules is also an important lesson to learn. It teaches flexibility (for mother and children). Life doesn't revolve around the homeschool, rather, homeschool revolves around life. That is true education for the real world.

"Education is an atmosphere, a discipline, a life..."



I hope this has alleviated some stress and anxiety for those of you going through different situations. I will leave you with a true story to inspire.  Michael Smith (an attorney from the HSLDA) told it at a homeschool convention and I constantly fall back on his words when the going gets tough. There was a woman who had to take off the homeschooling year in order to care for a sick parent. She was very regimented in her homeschool and the time "off" was a great trial to her orderly character. When the children started school again formally the following year, she had them tested to see how many grades they had fallen back during their "educational absence". What she found was that each child had progressed to the next year! They had already learned how to learn and were continuing their education even when she was not able to be a "teacher". I hope this encourages you as it did me. While I am not suggesting that you purposely abandon your homeschool schedule and curriculum, I do hope this offered some grace during those difficult days.

For more home education posts, visit here.


60 comments:

  1. JES, I love this post. As parents of three boys, one with a severe disability, and all now grown and living independently, including the son who is disabled, AND later-in-life parents of a daughter who is still at high school, I feel we've run the gamut of the educational system. One thing we never did however, was consider home schooling. See how brainwashed we are? Number one son was bright, articulate and dramatic, but a kinesthetic learner, so hours of sitting in class were wasted on him. Number two son was and remains, extremely intelligent and at one stage it was suggested that he 'skip' a year. We nixed that as there is only a year between the two older boys, and we foresaw social issues with the younger, joining the older, in his year level. Our disabled son attended mainstream school and relished it as he has a quick mind and is only physically impaired. He can also speak, which is a blessing...many with CP can not. Our daughter excels academically and artistically and is a talented ballerina and singer, with a flair for the dramatic, so we just hold our breathe with her, wondering what she will do next. Parent teacher interviews of just yesterday, saw two of six teachers advising caution on her busy schedule of school, ballet, theatre, and singing lessons, but she thrives on it. This idea seems foreign to so many these days. What they do not appreciate is the No Television Rule, which frees up so many hours to pursue something more worthwhile. And as you say, and my husband and I agree, 'school learning' only provides so much of our lifetime learning. Why would I expect a teacher to show my daughter how to cook or pre-prepare meals when I can do it? Why would I expect a teacher to show her how to uphold social justice when she has lived it with a disabled sibling? Why would she need to learn about team building when her family is the team of which she is the most significant member? Fabulous post JES. Really. Mimi xxx

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    1. Mimi, thank you for sharing your insight! You have added much more food for thought! These topics can sometimes get sticky as many worship the current educational system as a god to bring their children up the $ocial ladder in life. However, there are many ways we can learn and unfortunately the current public system does not (and should not) cover them all. I think the pioneer schedule was more practical. They taught the basics (3 R's) during the convenient seasons of their harvest schedule while children learned the rest at home. And what a hard-working society that was for they gave birth to the industrial revolution! Have a lovely week!

      P.S. To add to what you said, Thomas Edison was basically kicked out of school at a young age because he was too wiggly and wasn't paying much attention and a distraction. From that point on he was homeschooled (and free to practice experiments in the basement). Today's society would have prescribed him with a drug (saying he had ADHD or something) and could have potentially killed that genius in him! He was just a different type of learner!

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  2. Loved reading this!!! So encouraging to this mama of seven. Thank you. Btw....i love the pictures you used. Blessings from maryland-- angela

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    1. Thank you for taking the time to share Angela! I am sure you understand all this as a busy mama of 7 :) Keep up the good work!

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  3. An aside question to the previous commenter- why is it that CP can go either way? Some CP people have incredible minds in impaired bodies, and some its the other way around. And even in some its so mild you'd never know without being told that they have it. Do you know why?

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    1. Hello Katie. I hope JES doesn't mind if I respond to you here. Cerebral Palsy is caused by damage to the pathways that carry messages from the brain, to the rest of the body. That interruption is usually caused by lack of oxygen to the brain during birth, and the level and type of disability manifests according to which pathways of the brain are affected. Thus you can have someone with CP who has little more than a limp, as only the pathways controlling that limb, have been damaged. Or, as in my sons case, all limbs, torso, and neck muscles are affected as well as the muscles to the eye. This is because many more pathways were damaged when he was born prematurely at 29 weeks gestation. These tiny babies have such fragile blood vessels on the surface of their brain, that it's actually reasonably common that they have little brain haemorrhages, and this causes the damage that manifests as CP. So, the spectrum of disability is quite broad, from very mild, to moderate, to severe. My son has Severe Spastic Quadriplegia, meaning that he is severely affected in all four limbs. Due to the muscles behind his eyes also being affected, he has a Cortical Vision Impairment. But strangely for his type of CP, he can speak and communicates well. It's unusual, but not unheard of. All that said, he is just 'our guy', and we've always treated him as normally as humanly possible. I think we did okay. I hope this answers your question and thankyou to JES for allowing me to respond. Mimi xxx

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  4. Excellent advise. JES. Unschooling is brilliant and so helpful when convenient. When I was still teaching our youngest I heard something that we don't usually think about that helped me so much. I overheard the owner of an umbrella homeschool and bookstore tell a lady who found it difficult to believe that 4 hours (in Tennessee) of schooling each day that it was more than enough time for book study, and that learning doesn't stop when the books are closed, but it actually continues all day long during chores, constructive play and interaction with others. That is such a novel concept to those who have been indoctrinated (brainwashed) to think that learning only happens in a crowded classroom, nose to books often studying things they may never use in life. Did I ever mention that once when we were doing presentations at a local historical site one of the adults with a group of public school kids asked me if that was a real potato I was peeling? True story. o.O
    Have a great day!

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    1. I couldn't agree more! "Shop" closes for us at noon but the learning continues the rest of the day! And that is too funny about the potato... but kinda scary! :)

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  5. Thank you for this post. During January, February, and March this year I was dealing with all-day nausea and no energy from pregnancy. I did as much as I physically could for my 4 students, but it didn't feel like much. Yet my children learned anyway! It would be difficult to document all they learned, but the two oldest read to their hearts' content and the third in line became an independent reader. The part of me who wants rigor in our education had to let go, and, here on the other side of the nausea, we're none the worse for it.

    The reminder of grace is one that needs shared frequently with us homeschoolers who are experts in heaping guilt upon ourselves.

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    1. And you are right, we are experts at heaping guilt on ourselves. We all start off with a perfect vision of homeschooling and when real life gets in the way, it is easy to get overwhelmed and feel incapable. Hence, this post...

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  6. This is a fabulous post! We unschool our children as well and it's amazing how they have all flourished. The question I receive most of the time is "Where do you find the time in one day to accomplish everything? " My answer has been the same for the past five years......we don't own a tv. Thanks for sharing.

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  7. I really enjoyed this post, JES, well done and thank you. I am feeling the pinch right now myself as I'm trying to do so much work on our huge homestead garden and it's really hard to find time to do our regular homeschool activities. Thank you for the reminder that learning happens in all kinds of ways.

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    1. Oh yes, growing food is absolutely a necessity to learn! One that may depend on their very survival one day! We try and make it a habit to read together for an hour each day no matter what our schedule and books are such a gentle educator too! This time of year is perfect for the Secret Garden :)

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  8. Great wisdom in this post, JES. We've homeschooled for 20+ years and have had many times like you describe when we used real life situations as "school". Our kids are all very intelligent, and it didn't hurt them a bit to have those breaks from books. In fact, my 2 youngest girls are voracious readers now!

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    1. Oh yes, those voracious readers are in our neck of the woods too! That is education, the gift that keeps giving!

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  9. I would like to add an "amen" to your post as one who has completed the journey. I am a task oriented person, but it did not take long in my homeschooling journey to see that if I did not approach my children's education as a lifestyle rather than a task, none of us would survive. One thing that helped me get over the hump was making a list of goals or characteristics that I did not want my children to leave my home without. These were the minimum that I deemed, before the Lord, that my children had to receive from their education under my authority. Everything else would be happy extras. For instance, having all girls my list included basic homemaking skills along with the academic goals.
    I am happy to report that all three entered college with scholarships. One has graduated and is married. Another is married and is graduating next year, and the youngest is enjoying her sophomore year in college. Enjoy your children, and educate them as unto the Lord. He will guide you. Blessings!

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    1. What excellent advice from a veteran homeschooling mother! Thank you so much for the encouragement! This really helps!

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  10. Wonderful ideas and encouragement. During the years we homeschooled (about 14) we regularly had "Domestic Science" days to account or catching up on housekeeping; "Horticulture" days when we did yard work; "Consumer Finance" when we were shopping and running errands. We counted everything outside the home as a field trip and made sure to learn something. Children learn constantly, no matter what they're doing.

    Homeschools aren't the only educational setting with interruptions. Some weeks my husband gets particularly frustrated in his public school teaching with all the assemblies, field trips, sporting or community events, etc. Life goes on and students learn.

    At one time when life was pretty chaotic I remarked to my older, and wiser, sister that I couldn't wait for life to get back to normal; she laughed and said, "This is normal." That's been my motto ever since.

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    1. Yes, yes, and yes to all paragraphs!!! Thank you for the valuable input! :)

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  11. This was an encouraging reminder on a day when I pulled something in my lower back and am low-functioning at best. ;) Fortunately, we had planned an art day of exploring mosaicking, so the kids went at it, occasionally coming to rub my back and help me up or get lunch. They're getting lessons in serving!

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    1. Oh yes! When my back went out months ago, I was getting breakfast trays and the whole royal treatment. I think there are plenty of lessons squeezed in there! Home economics, Math (measuring), service like you mentioned, etc... Enjoy it! :) These are the fruits of your labor!

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  12. This is a really encouraging post JES, thank you for sharing it. The part about not fretting when your husband suggests going on a trip resonated with me- to my shame, I have been upset in the past when my husband has kindly suggested we all have a day off! Blessings :-)

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    1. I think we have all been there! Trying so hard to meet our schedules... Thank you for taking the time to share Gwen! :)

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  13. I love your blog and really enjoyed this post! Thank you! God bless!

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    1. Thank you for the encouragement! :)

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  14. Wonderful post JES! I had never heard of the concept of "unschooling" until just recently, and it makes wonderful sense, when the parent is dedicated to looking for any and every moment as a teaching moment! As usual, this is shared in a loving way, and I certainly agree with your no TV thought as well! TV is such a thief and waste of time for the most part. Hands on activities are when children learn the most. Really great post!!

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    1. Thank you for taking the time to share! :) I really appreciate the feedback!

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  15. I absolutely love this post and wholeheartedly agree!!!!! Thank you so much. I know you've given everyone a lot of help and ideas.

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    1. Thank you Mary for taking the time to share! :)

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  16. Hi Jes, I had to read comments on this post. I am horrible at remembering quotes, but there is one I really admire & remember by Sam Clemens (M Twain) that is one of my favorites and I think is appropriate here. "I never let my schooling interfere with my education." There are more important things in life then remembering E=mc(squared). Teaching children o prioritize is extremely important. The act of helping a loved one in need when they need it is a very empowering lesson.
    (Also no TV for 13-14 years now??? I would have to figure it out. I've lost track.
    Great post.

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    1. Ah, yes I love that quote! I have that in my educational folder too!!! Mark Twain was quite witty :)

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  17. I needed this, NOW! I love the unschooling approach. We are very eclectic, but right now unschooling seems to be what we need 100% of the time! Thanks! I needed this reminder.

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    1. Nice to hear from you Farmlife Chick! Yes, this reminder is for me too! :)

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  18. Oh how refreshing and encouraging to my day! Our oldest is 16 and we're expecting our 7th in a month or so and your post is so true and yet, I often forget the simplicity of it all. Thanks so much for sharing.

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    1. Oh, then this was JUST in time! You will be very busy, but a blessed busy! Thank you for taking the time to share Jeannie! :) May your birth go nice and smooth!

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  19. This is homely, welcoming and very encouraging. I love these suggestions you have given. There are many ways to lovingly teach our kids.
    God Bless

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    1. Yes, as unique as we all are, that is how many ways there are to teach too! Thank you for sharing Ifeoma! :)

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  20. I love these thoughts! I was raised in homeschool and so I can speak a bit from the other side of the fence. I can tell you, that following curriculum were minor in my education. The things that impacted me the most (for better and for worse) were the character and habits of my parents.
    How did they spend their time? How did they talk to us in different situations? How did they handle trials and joys? What did they value and what did they disregard? Did they offer unconditional love, support and practical help? Or were they detached, distracted, and abandon us to our "independence"? We were included in their adult lives and tasks or excluded to only what was convenient for them?

    I feel like some of the things you've outlined here highlight the things I still remember from my education. I loved science and animals and writing as a kid. So my parents let me do all sorts of things in that area. My mom lead me in "science experiments," I got a miniature weather station for my birthday one year. I went through extra grammar practices, wrote more papers, and even did fiction writing because it was a passion and strength. In highschool, my mom even let us pick whatever two areas of study that we wanted. It was great! I loved my education and wouldn't change it.
    On the other hand, I hated history and geography and don't remember a lick of it, despite studying the curriculum. What your kids end up learning sometimes has very little to do with a standardized curriculum.

    I did have one question. Some states require that homeschool kids are tested every year to make sure they are keeping up with their grades. Do you feel like that creates extra stress? I feel like the style of homeschool you're talking about is more realistic, but is it hard to keep a gauge of where your children are at? (And, by extension, whether they'll meet the external state standards in order to continue home school?)
    Where I grew up, we just had to pass the GED. So I've never experienced this myself. I've heard from current moms that it can be hard to reconcile the standards the laws impose vs the values and standards they want to pursue. I'm told the pressures of it causes hardship even to the point of damaging the mom's relationship with her children, that she has to be so tough on them.
    Have you had to wrangle with this at all in your experience?

    (Just curious. I want to homeschool myself. I feel like wising up about potential struggles can help me know what to anticipate.)

    Thanks!
    Great, great post!
    -Christina

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    1. Hi Christina,

      Thank you for all your valuable input from the other side of the fence! That is much appreciated! And I think that what we dislike is usually what we don't remember which has nothing to do with the teacher but like you said everything to do with the subject! I was public schooled and can only remember language arts and history. Interesting that both subject were my favorites. I supposedly took an economics class but can't remember ONE thing from it (and I graduated with honors, go figure!!!). Back to the style of homeschool I am speaking of in this article... This is really what happens when life gets crazy (which of course is often!!!) however, when things are somewhat normal, I do have a very standard schedule with a math curriculum, a history timeline we follow and study in order, etc... So I personally don't homeschool like this all the time. It is during the survival days as we often call it. And as far as yearly tests go, I only know of California law and no such thing is necessary to my knowledge. We did make sure to sign up with the homeschool protection attorneys (HSLDA) whose website I linked to in the last paragraph. They do a great job of protecting our rights. Also, to pass all the tests, I don't think that would be a problem for a true homeschooled student (When I say "true" I mean a mother who provides access to the tools to learn and oversees that an education is taking place one way or another, not just sitting in front of the TV, etc...). Leigh's comment above gives a great testimony in that area! :) Hope this helps!

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  21. Jes, the graphics in your posts are spectacular!! So lovely!!
    I always admire those that Home School. I do not think that I would have felt capable of doing such a thing. So Kudos to those that do.....
    Thanks so much for taking the time to visit and leave a comment...

    Hugs,
    Deb

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  22. I love this post. We have had an eclectic mix of Charlotte Mason and unschooling since we bought our land 4 years ago. Even though I continually see how my kids have learned and grown, that old guilt that we should be sitting behind desk 8 hours a day sometimes creeps in.

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  23. I love this post. We have had an eclectic mix of Charlotte Mason and unschooling since we bought our land 4 years ago. Even though I continually see how my kids have learned and grown, that old guilt that we should be sitting behind desk 8 hours a day sometimes creeps in.

    Coming over from Farmgirl Friday. :-)

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  24. This is a great post. My fifth child was born 2 months ago via a very scary and very-much-an-emergency cesarean due to a placental abruption (Praise God we were both okay). During my recovery, I had to give myself some grace in the homeschooling AND homemaking areas for the first 4 weeks. It wasn't an easy task as I am very much a Type A task-oriented mama, but it was very much needed. It helped me recover much fast so that we could get back our "normal" ... if such a thing exists anyway. :)

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  25. As a librarian I hope you're exposing your kids to lots of public libraries, with lots of great fiction and non-fiction literature. A good literary base is always a great tool. I do think some home schooled kids seem to be very limited in their social interactions. Mostly with kids who are like them, and not mainstreamed kids. When they're adults they will certainly need the skills to interact in a varied world, with a lot of different people. Hopefully your "writing" includes proper english, punctuation, etc. When I have read some blogs by adults who were home schooled, and some of them had atrocious grammar :( Not fun reading! Good luck...

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    1. Hi Nancy, thank you for sharing! Our home is actually one big library! And I have to agree, books are a huge tool in education. Reading provides us with 90% of our learning! I have also noticed that the more one reads excellent literature, the more they are exposed to good grammar like you mentioned. We have readers reading Dickens at the age of 12 on their own free will. What better tutor in the English language? I have in our own circles, public schooled and college educated people who lack proper writing and whose emails are a task to read. Some of that may just lie in the fact that that person clearly chose science as a profession since they lack literary skills. As far as the social interactions. I find the exact opposite to be true. Homeschooled children, being home, tend to be toted around with mother and are exposed to much variety in the "world" instead of being confined in a schoolroom all day with same aged children. They interact with people of all ages and backgrounds allowing them a richer education of "social studies". We have received lots of positive feedback from airline stewardesses to grocery store clerks for the ease of social skills in homeschooled children. I don't think that many of us have the goal of raising mainstreamed children but God-fearing, hard working, responsible adults. Thank you very much for your well wishes and taking the time to share :)

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  26. Loved this post. We have primary been child led in our homeschool journey and it has worked very well. We have a T.V. but it was hardly ever on. Who has time for that when there are so many more interesting things to do?
    Thanks for posting this.

    found you on Monday's Musings

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  27. Nancy, I love the way you use art-clip art to illustrate your post! Thanks for visiting my blog.

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  28. Jes, my apologies! I got your name wrong in my previous comment.

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  29. I love Charlotte Mason teachings and I'm going soon to dedicate a post to her, she was so very important as educator during the Victorina age and her words are still precious nowadays, we've still to learn much from her !
    This post is truly gorgeous, my dearest JES, thank you for sharing such wonder !
    With gratitude and deep admiration
    Dany

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  30. This ought to be a real encouragement to homeschool moms. I do think that some become preoccupied with schedules and such. I suppose it's easy to transition the concept of life revolving around school, music lessons and sports from the public school model to the homeschool, but it's so unnecessary. Your ideas for flexibility are very useful. :-)

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  31. Dearest JES, how my heart was blessed by this post! I was homeschooled for most of my life and I thought it would be quite simple to homeshool my son.... boy, was I in for a surprise :) I approached teaching my son with gusto and excitement, but I quickly learned that every day of school isn't perfect. I am a person that likes things organized and if my schedule is thrown off and disrupted than I feel overwhelmed and frustrated. My son is finishing second grade and I am slowly learning to relax and live with the curve balls thrown my way and to be honest, schooling has been much better :)

    Your post reinforced my vigor and excitment, my friend. Life happens and our children will continue to learn what is important and valuable outside of text books. Thank you SO MUCH for sharing with Roses of Inspiration - I was greatly encouraged. Hugs to you!

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  32. Another encouraging post Jes. I find that sometimes the greatest learning is done when the books are closed. There are so many things in life that teach, many moments that pass by that we can all learn from. When Dad is home for the day, learning becomes time with him, relationships are always more important. You have really encouraged me with this post and I appreciate you sharing this at Good Morning Mondays. Blessings

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  33. I really like that quote from Louisa May Alcott and I'm going to add it to my quote book! Thanks for such an encouraging post Jes, you've given me much to think about!

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  34. I love this article and wholeheartedly agree! Also it has been a help to me that my kids have learned to be responsible for their schoolwork whether Mama can watch over their shoulders every minute or not!

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    1. Exactly! Thank you for sharing Helene :)

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  35. Life has thrown many curves into our homeschool education. I find that there have been many times when unschooling has reigned supreme, but the kids seem to learn best that way.

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    1. Isn't that wonderful? I have seen many blessings from this in our life too! :)

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  36. Yes! As a relaxed homeschooler, I find myself completely taken with the idea of how natural learning really is. We did unschool for 2 years, but the lack of structure wasn't good for our large family. However, I have taken away from our experience so many lessons about what true learning actually looks like and do not hesitate to ditch a day of homeschool to learn from life!

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    1. Exactly my sentiments Shelly! Thank you for sharing your experience! :)

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